Boyd Gaming is a Las Vegas and regional casino operator. The company owns casinos in six states, with most being smaller resorts and locals-style gaming establishments.There are, however, a few Boyd Gaming properties which offer large scale resorts, mainly in the city of Las Vegas.
Boyd Gaming was founded by Sam Boyd and his son Bill in 1962 when the pair acquired an interest in the Eldorado Casino in downtownHenderson, NV. Full equity waslater acquired in Eldorado in 1968. The company as it is known today was not established until 1975 with the opening of California in downtown Las Vegas.
The company was the first to open locals casinos in the Las Vegas market. Sam’s Town was the first locals casino in the city in 1979. Boyd Gaming would go on to open Gold Coast, The Orleans, Suncoast and South Coast. South Coast would be sold shortly after it opened and renamed South Point.
Boyd Gaming owns more downtown Las Vegas casinos than any other company. In addition to California, it also operates Main Street Station and Fremont. California and Main Street Station are connected by a pedestrian bridge over Main Street.
Sam Boyd discovered an untapped market early in the life of Boyd Gaming. His company concentrated on Hawaiian residents. There is no gambling in Hawaii. Las Vegas became the number one tourist destination for the state’s residents. Boyd Gaming created a travel agency with charter flights to cater to these tourists.
Boyd Gaming owns nine casinos in the Las Vegas metro area:
Suncoast – Suncoast is located in Summerlin next door to Rampart. It is the highest end Boyd Gaming property. It offers two fine dining establishments. It offers a large sportsbook and two bars. Most video poker games at the bars return at least 99%. There are more than two dozen table games and 1,500 slots. Suncoast has a poker room where the rake is only $3. It is the only poker room in Las Vegas that spreads Seven Card Stud High/Low.
Gold Coast – Gold Coast is located just off the Las Vegas Strip to the west. It is between Rio and Palms. Gold Coast specializes in Asian table games. It has two pits full of baccarat and Pai Gow Poker. Ping Pang Pong is known as one of the best Asian dining options in Las Vegas. Its video poker and promotions are among the best in the city.
The Orleans – The Orleans is located just west of the Las Vegas Strip on Tropicana Avenue. The Orleans uses a Mardi Gras theme. It is the largest property in the Boyd Gaming system. It offers four table game pits and a variety of quality video poker pay tables. There is a massive sports book on the property. The Orleans has a top 3 poker room in terms of number of cash games in Las Vegas. It is home to Omaha and Omaha High/Low. The Orleans poker room also spreads a number of Fixed Limit Hold’em games.
California – California is the original downtown Las Vegas casino under the Boyd Gaming brand. It was remodeled in 2016. The first floor includes 30 table games. Most are double deck blackjack that pays 3-2 with a $5 minimum bet. Its craps tables only pay double odds. Its second floor includes coin operated video poker machines, a sports bar and sports book. There is a bridge across Main Street that connects California with Main Street Station.
Main Street Station – Main Street Station is located on Main Street in downtown Las Vegas. It is connected to California by a bridge. Main Street Station is best known for its $5 20 times craps. It also offers a dozen 3-2 double deck blackjack tables with a $5 minimum bet. There are more than 100 coin operated video poker machines. The bar offers full pay Jacks or Better.
Fremont – Fremont is located on the Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas. It offers $3 craps and blackjack. There are dozens of full pay coin operated video poker machines. There is also a keno lounge and small sports book.
Sam’s Town – Sam’s Town is located on Boulder Highway. It is best known for its massive sports book. Sam’s Town also has a poker room that offers low limit action and a daily 1-5 Seven Card Stud game. Sam’s Town offers a $3 20 times craps game 24 hours a day.
Joker’s Wild – Joker’s Wild is a small locals joint on Boulder Highway near Henderson. Its claim to fame is a $1 10 times craps game. It also has a $3 shoe and $5 double deck blackjack game that pays 3-2. There is no hotel at Joker’s Wild.
Eldorado – Eldorado is a small casino in downtown Henderson. It is a slots casino with one restaurant. It does not have a hotel.
Boyd Gaming casinos outside Las Vegas:
Borgata – Atlantic City
IP Casino – Biloxi
Sam’s Town – Tunica
Sam’s Town – Shreveport
Delta Downs – Lake Charles
Blue Chip Casino – Michigan City, IN
Par-A-Dice Casino – Peoria, IL
While many Las Vegas casinos slashed returns on its games that is not the case at Boyd Gaming properties. Each property has dozens of video poker machines that return 99.5% or better. There are more than 100 blackjack tables in Las Vegas under the Boyd Gaming flag that pay 3-2 on a natural. Main Street Station and Sam’s Town offer 20 times odds on craps. Joker’s Wild has a $1 game with 10 times odds. Suncoast has a $3 craps game with 10 times odds. All Field bets pay triple on 12.
It is not just the quality of gambling that is a throwback to the older days, the entire Boyd Gaming experience is like a time capsule. There are no resort fees at its downtown casinos. The rates are competitive with other properties and are often among the lowest in the market. The quality of downtown rooms is better than the rates pair to stay in one.
Boyd Gaming casinos still concentrate of gambling. There are few forms of entertainment at its resorts. The restaurants have reasonable pricing. This is especially true for the buffets, which are used to attract players to the casino. Its cafes and other dining options are on the cheap end of pricing without sacrificing quality.
Boyd Gaming offers old-style gaming at its downtown properties. This includes hundreds of coin operated machines. Some of these games, including Aloha Poker at California, do not accept bills at all. Rolls of quarters must be obtained from slot attendants. A change cart is pushed through the casino just like it was in decades ago.